The no so popular 1996 NBA dunk challenge is mainly known for two things: #1 is Brent Barry, 4 years after Woody Harrelson tried to dunk in the sports standard “White men Can’t jump (which how amazing is a favorite of the late good Stanley Kubrick), becoming the an initial and only white male to ever win the event. #2 is 6’0 Darrell Armstrong “doing a layup in the contest.” before I gain into how the league prevented Brent Barry from making the event more memorable, I want to work out something around Armstrong.
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Orlando’s energizer hare was top top the injured list for lot of the season and also was only taken turn off it so he can hitch a ride v Shaq and also Penny to mountain Antonio andrep the Magic in the dunk contest. At this time, the layout of the challenge was a 1 minute and 25 2nd opening freestyle ring that compelled each participant to throw under at least three dunks. After missing a bunch of attempts, a worn-out Armstrong establish he had actually no shooting at progressing in the last seconds that the ring so he just tossed the ball up and also “made a layup.” He was so disappointed through himself, he stated he referred to as his mom that night and cried. What always disappointed me around this, is the very first round leave prevented united state from see a dunk he and Shaq had actually planned, which associated Armstrong dunking in Shaq’s dimension 21 shoes. That sounds interesting and like a potential disaster.
Earlier this year, I had actually the satisfied of interviewing Brent Barry, who along with Shaq, to be a referee in a top an enig $100,000 amateur dunk dispute called “The Dunk King.” mine dumb ass lost the transcript of the interview however I remember sufficient to talk about my favorite explorations from our conversation, specifically just how the NBA robbed us of seeing among the “baddest” performances in dispute history.
Despite play for the God-awful Clippers the the mid-90s, rookie Brent Barry was an instant fan-favorite and Sportscenter consistent for throwing under reverse dunks and also making playground passes to a bunch of guys who robbed Barry of a pair of aid per game. Therefore it to be no surprise when the NBA released the surname of the 1996 dunk contest participants, Barry’s surname was ~ above it. What did surprise me was Barry informing me he didn’t desire to it is in on the list and only i agree to perform the annual event since his team wanted him in it.
In the very first round, Barry began off through a regimen off the bounce dunk, honored one more white high-flyer by law Rex Chapman’s behind-the-back self oop, hit a Stansbury-ish 360 and also finished out the opened round v a free-throw line dunk…while put on his warm-up jacket. Barry, together with Greg Minor and also Michael Finley, struggled in the final round therefore hewent ago to the free-throw heat dunk and just prefer Michael Jordan in 1988, was rewarded for doing the same dunk twice in the event.
As cool as it was to check out a white man present white men could jump, the championship-winning power wasn’t a really memorable one. But, Barry called me about his original plans and if that would have pulled the off, it probably would have been just one of the most memorable. The idea to be to have actually LL Cool J’s hit track “I’m Bad” play in the background and Barry, attract the trademark red outfit and also Kangol hat, would certainly throw down his very first dunk after Uncle together finishes the well known “aaaaaaahhhh” in ~ the beginning of the song.
Of course, the league rejected the idea. The didn’t surprise me since David Stern and the NBA were really weird around hip-hop music in the mid 90s; they even banned lab music from gift played in the background of the 1994 dunk contest, also though they had Will smith “emceeing” the event. And also the reason why they said no was due to the fact that of music licensing issues and also this is when the organization wasn’t ready to burn money prefer they eventually would once the occasion turned into a product placement prop fest. Actually, the league eliminated the occasion after one more event, which was won through a cocky rookie Kobe Bryant.
I request Barry why that didn’t defend his title and also compete versus Kobe and also Darvin Ham, who was plunder in the event and even told me he to be robbed and would have actually beat Kobe,and Barry stated he had “nothing more” and reminded me he didn’t desire to execute the dispute he won. He cared so tiny about the contest, he converted the trophy right into a an intricate candy dish.
Barry did eventually havehis hip-hop moment during NBA All-Star weekend, as soon as he participated in the 2003 3-Point contest and also executed a pretty exceptional crip-walk…for a white guy. Save in mind, he’s straight outta Concord, California!
I told the if the would have actually done the c-walk in the NBA dunk contest world would still it is in talking around it.
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Every year, about NBA dunk contest time, friend will see a lot of Top 10 best and worst challenge dunks and events lists and also the 96 event is only brought up with an adverse comments. But, deserve to you imagine if the organization would have let Barry have his Cool J homage in the very first round? much better yet, deserve to you imagine him following up the an initial round through a c-walk in the finals with WC & The Maad Circle playing “West Up” in the background? that would more than likely go under as the “baddest” dunk exhibition that all-time.
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